Ducks: To Feed or Not to Feed?

Duck feeding is allowed at Wollongong Botanical Gardens when this photo was taken.

For my kids and their grandparents, feeding ducks bread at the local park has become an enjoyable and relaxing way of interacting with the local Pacific Black Ducks.   However, feeding them bread can lead to nutritional imbalances, altered animal behaviour, and increase their risk of disease and predation.

If you love them, don’t feed them. If you love them and still want to feed them, try and do the right thing by the ducks by giving them food as close to natural as possible and following the local park rules.   Alternatives to bread include:

  • Grapes cut in half
  • Peas
  • Cracked corn, barley, oats, birdseed or other grains
  • Duck feed pellets
  • Earth worms and compost worms

Have a local duck feeding spot? Look for signs as some parks expressly allow duck feeding, while most places expressly forbid it.  If feeding is not allowed, best not to feed as it’s not only the local ducks our parks and councils are looking out for, but also our local waterways and other bird life.  

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